Silvestras Valiūnas was one of the first Lithuanian writers of peasants' descent. He was born about 1789 in Raseiniai environs. He attended school in Raseiniai and after graduation entered the Senior Vilnius Seminary which belonged to Vilnius University. Most probably he entered the Seminary because education there was free of charge. S. Valiūnas had spent at the Seminary four years (1808-1812). The main course of his studies was in literature, chiefly antique. In the years 1811-1812 he attended the seminar of antique philology led by professor G. Grodek. S. Valiūnas had graduated the Seminary with a candidate's degree, but did not become a priest. Instead he had joined the Napoleon's army. After its defeat he returned to his native Samogitia. He settled down in Aušbikava and dedicated himself to cultural and literary activities. S. Valiūnas communicated with prominent Lithuanian writers, participated in literary life. He was interested in current issues of language and tried to resolve them as well. He took part in the Insurrection of 1831 and perished at the time of it.
S. Valiūnas was writing in Lithuanian and Polish languages.. His literary heritage in Lithuanian that reached our days consists of two works: one letter on literary issues and "Birutė's Song". This latter work has earned for S. Valiūnas a place of worth in the history of Lithuanian literature. His biggest work in Lithuanian, a comic poem "Palemonas contuberny" (Palemono kontubernija) was lost.
In Polish language S. Valiūnas had written a poem in 24 cantos "Sobieskiada" and many verses. They were not published and have not reached our days.